Tech Support

I hate tech support and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

By the time I’ve called tech support, I’ve unplugged, re-plugged, checked plugs, checked wires, swapped cables, rebooted, refreshed, recycled every thing I own attached to whatever it is that’s giving me grief – whether it’s the cable TV or the cable modem. Which means that when I call, I’ve moved down the road from “have you checked your power supply?”

I always start the calls with “this is everything I’ve done” and while I know I’ve just jumped into the middle of their tech support script, I really am beyond the point of wanting to retry everything again while I listen to them loudly mouth breathe into my ear; it’s just not sexy. I’m usually greeted with an exasperated sigh, “do you mind rebooting again?” Yes, yes I do. If I’m calling, I’ve rebooted more than once and thank you for asking, I am getting power. How can I tell? Well, things are on. GRR!

It’s not that I don’t understand the feeling that everyone who owns tech equipment is stupid. When I was IT I had my fair share of “Beth, if you don’t receive this e-mail let me know” or “Beth, why can’t I find the information on the disk” as I look and see the disk is laying on top of the computer. I’ve even had “Beth, the server is dead” only to find that someone had powered it off. I even created my “Wall of Shame” – a place where I pinned any e-mail that made me feel incredibly smart at someone else’s expense. But when I call, I’m trying to give that “I’m not a complete moron vibe” which really comes off as the “I’m short-tempered, impatient and moments from losing it all over you” (which really inspires people to help).

What inspired this? Suddenlink. I can’t say enough bad about them, but this time it genuinely isn’t their fault (although, I’ll work out how it is eventually). Our cable modem took a huge dump and died. The little power light was on and the PC/Activity light was on but it was done sending and receiving packets of information. There were at least two fun/stimulating calls with their help desk while I made low growling sounds. A tech was sent out and he declared the thing dead. Meanwhile, I twitched while trying to remember what it was I used to do before I had a computer. I was drawing a blank. (Jay suggested something called “reading” – seriously, way to step back in time 100 years.) So, yesterday I picked up a new cable modem, installed it and of course had to call tech support in order for Suddenlink to see it.

I got Sean the tech guy. I think Sean may now be my new favorite – everything to Sean was both “awesome” and “cool”. Sean even played the “let’s give every letter used in the MAC address a fruit name and every letter in the serial number a vegetable name”. (I have to find ways to amuse myself on these calls, otherwise it’s back to the low growling.) When we got to H and couldn’t think of a fruit I offered up, “H… as in Banana” and Sean laughed at my corny joke and even made it sound sincere – bless his heart. For that, I had to write to his supervisors and send kudos his way for being the best tech support guy they had.

Sooo… I’m always going to dread tech support calls. I’m always going to make low growling sounds as I push in keys to get past “to set-up your email, press 1; to find the “any” key, press 2; to be stuck in this endless hell of key pushing, press 0 – your wait time is FORTY FIVE minutes, please hold while we play you this delightful music from Kenny G – we will interrupt it every 30 seconds to remind you you should have pressed 1 and you wouldn’t be suffering – thank you!” At least, in speaking to Sean, there’s some hope. Even if his name isn’t really Sean but something unpronouncable with 12 more syllables.

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